Friday, January 28, 2011

Olives In My Bike Lane

Before I lived here, I don't think I imagined olive trees growing in Phoenix

One more fruit that tends to drop off trees and land in the bike lane this time of year are olives. I fought with that sentence, by the way. I am going with "olives" as the subject of the sentence, so I believe "are" is the correct verb form to go with it. You would think that I would have subject-verb agreement more or less nailed down tight by this point.

It's also one more fruit that you can't just pick up off the ground and eat, generally speaking. Olives have to be cured or fermented first, because, according to Wikipedia, they "contain phenolic compounds and oleuropein, a glycoside which makes the fruit too bitter." People I know who do this use the lye method, although apparently there are many other alternate ways to cure them.

I had to mention the olives for completeness, because I have already mentioned most of the other stuff that grows in this city, and I didn't feel right about leaving out olives, although their pollen doesn't agree with me much, in fact it makes my eyes water and makes me sneeze, but olive oil is an essential part of what I eat, so I can't hold that against the trees that make them. But people do hold it against them, so much that you are no longer allowed to buy or plant olive trees (or male mulberry trees) any more. I'm not sure how long the ones already in the ground will live, but in any case, the days of olives in my bike lane certainly have some limit, out there in the future. So I will keep noticing them, and think, "Hey olives, hit the road!" Get up. Go ride.



  1. I have cured olives using the lye method, and it's not too tricky- and resulted in tasty olives! So I'm jealous that you have olives in your bike lane. I'll trade you for the snow that's in mine!
    In most big cities landscapers tend to plant mostly male plants because they don't drop fruit which creates a mess if it isn't picked up. This has caused a pollen crisis because the male trees put more pollen out. (maybe they're just lonely?)

  2. You got chain lube falling in your bike lane!
    Believe it or not, I still get hits for "olive oil chain lube" every once in a while.

  3. cycler, perhaps some late-night olive-gathering is in my near future...I don't think they'll miss a few. Although it seems easier to stop at the excellent Middle Eastern Deli just down the street, and they have an excellent selection.

    limom, hey, that was my comment bringing in the olive oil chain lube hits to THE FLAT TIRE! Yet one more of my incredible contributions to the long-term legacy of the Interwebz!

  4. I would go with "is". One more fruit ... is olives.

  5. Dan, you torture me. :) A sentence with syntax that scrofulous ought just to be discarded, rather than rescued, I guess.


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